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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2002:9:
The distortion of beliefs in the face of uncertainty

Lennart Sjöberg ()

Abstract: Judgements and beliefs often are distorted. They are affected by underlying values and reflect strong tendencies toward wishful thinking. In action, biased thinking may or may not be detrimental, and there is a very delicate balance to keep between the need to motivate oneself for forceful action, and to keep a realistic view of the possibilities of success. People encounter problems, calling for thought and the formation of constructs, only rather rarely, but when they do they tend to be in an unpleasant emotional state. Uncertainty is one such state, in which one encounters difficult problems and expects little success.

Keywords: thought biases; heuristics; judgement; decision making; (follow links to similar papers)

30 pages, May 2002

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This paper is published as:
Sjöberg, Lennart, (2007), 'The distortion of beliefs in the face of uncertainty.', International Journal of Management and Decision Making, Vol. 8, No. 1, pages 1-29

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